Dr. Martens recently launched their new “First and Forever” campaign starring Agyness Deyn with a breakfast hosted by street style power couple Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) and Garance Doré.
“First and Forever” is based on the premise that everyone remembers when they got their first pair of Docs, and the company is encouraging its customers to share their firsts via social media channels like Twitter. As such, Schuman and Doré shared some of their "firsts," along with the other guests: Doré discussed her first shoot -- for French Elle -- and also revealed that Schuman is actually her first love. Schuman revealed that his love for photographing his daughters first inspired his interest in photography, which led to the creation of The Sartorialist.
Following the breakfast, we talked with the Schuman and Doré about the first time they met, what it’s like working together (they currently share both a living space and a studio), and the challenges that come with growing their wildly successful blogs.
How did you two first meet?
Scott Schuman: We met at a fashion show in Paris. It really wasn’t a big deal. We just started talking and talking and we had a lot of stuff in common and an appreciation for what we both did. It’s kind of boring in that way. So when we first met, it wasn’t even a big deal. We just liked each other as people and I guess that is why we still get along so well -- because I really like her as a person and respect her. But it wasn’t like seeing her across the room and thinking “Oh my god!”
Garance Doré: [Laughing] Yes it was!
SS: I mean, no, it was like that!
What’s it like working together all of the time?
SS: It’s great, I love it. The hard part is when we are not in the same space and when we are not together in the same place. We might not be doing the same projects but I like to be together as much as possible. She’s my number one inspiration.
You’ve turned into this fashion super couple; What’s that like?
GD: [Laughing] I think it's good. We're not just a beauty couple. It's respect for our work.
What have you learned from each other?
SS: Well, technically there are things that she’s better at than me and there are things that I am better at. She’s great at writing -- the way that she communicates -- so I am always like “Should I say this, this way?” I really try to pursue what she wants out of life and her career and try to help her get there. And I say the same thing -- "I want this, I want that." She really listens. It’s not always technical things; it’s what we want out of life and figuring out how to get there.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of running your blogs and growing them?
GD: Staying true to ourselves and going in the right directions. Sometimes that means going slower than you would like.
SS: I think it’s about getting the right people too -- it’s like being a young designer or anything else. It’s about getting people that are passionate. It’s about getting people that understand the differences between what a blog is and a magazine or anything else and how to communicate that. We are both passionate. We don’t think about how many hours we work. This is our life. We try to get people that enjoy doing the work and understand what it really means. I think the trickiest thing is finding people that will let us just do what we want to do.
How many people do you have working for you?
SS: Garance has one person and I have one person. But we are ready to get a photo assistant and a fashion assistant.
Fashion brands all want a piece of bloggers these days. What are the best ways brands utilize bloggers and what are the worst ways?
SS: The best thing they [fashion brands] can do is to create great products and then have people be able to talk about why they like them. But it does get tricky. At first, they were totally scared of blogs. Totally, totally scared of blogs. “What if they say something bad about our bag?” But now they have gone the exact opposite way, and it’s not just us, but they are throwing products at people and trying to woo and intimidate bloggers into talking about them. It can really kill the integrity of a blog. I know what’s being offered out there and when I see stuff popping up on certain blogs, I just kind of write them off. I don’t want to sound old fashioned, but I automatically think they are in it for the wrong reasons or are easily wooed.
Where do you see your blogs going?
GD: I would like to give myself more time for writing. I think it’s something that is under-explored on the Internet. The Internet is so photo-heavy right now. It’s great, I love photography, but when I write it really brings people to me and they have this feeling that they know me. Writing takes a lot of time though. It’s a challenge.
Do you write in French or English?
GD: I write in French. Sometimes a little bit in English but my English is just not as good as my French of course.
And what about you, Scott?
SS: I just want it to keep getting better and better. I’ve scaled back on other projects so I can really focus on it. When I was working with men.style.com I thought, “Ok, I have to take photos of guys wearing colored shoes.” It took some of the creativity out of the process.